Great. Nathan Erickson is in my apartment. Awesome.
I’m in my kitchen, sipping a cup of tea as the one man I never wanted to see again combs through my apartment making notes on the best way to ‘secure’ my space.
Part of me still believes this is an over reaction, but the Senator insisted and while I know he manipulated me, threatening to call my sister and interrupting her anniversary trip, I didn’t see him backing down.
And it’s not like I could explain why I didn’t want Nathan Erickson in charge of my safety. Not to the Senator.
I watch from the kitchen as Nathan moves through my space, analyzing windows, checking sight lines, potential security holes.
He straightens and finds me before saying. “You have a good security system.”
I shrug. “Old habits.” I haven’t always had the safest living situation.
“How is your sister?” he asks.
“She’s good.” I tell him about the trip she’s currently on. He knows her husband from the FBI and suddenly I’m uncomfortable with the personal direction the conversation has gone.
Trying to distance myself again I turn the conversation back to business. “So, what’s the verdict? Am I safe in my own home?”
“We’ll have to keep the drapes closed at all times. Living in the city allows too many lines of sight from surrounding buildings even on the fourth floor. I’m installing a camera at the main entrance so you can see as well as hear anyone who buzzes for entry. And I’m putting surveillance teams in some of the surrounding buildings.
“We’re also looking in to renting one of the open apartments on this floor and have a team placed there.”
I’m stunned. This is a much larger operation than I had expected. I’d been kind of assuming Nathan and his partner were going to be the extent of it.
I voice my concerns. “Is all this really necessary? That sounds like an incredibly large team for a third year law student with an overzealous stalker.”
“Quinn. We have a team of eight, prepared to provide 24 hour protection. The Senator insisted but I agree with his and Ethan’s assessment. You know you’re more than a typical law student. It’s possible whoever sent the threats and photos isn’t aware of your history but we have to assume they are until we know it for a fact.”
I sink into my couch, setting my mug of tea on the coffee table. “This is crazy.” I stare blindly at my feet, rubbing my hands over my jean clad knees.
Nathan crouches in front of me. “I know it seems overwhelming right now. I’ll do my best to make sure you can live as close to normal as possible. But you’re going to do it safely.”
I can feel the heat radiating off him, he’s so close.
He’s so close.
I bit my bottom lip, hating that some small part of me still craves his touch, his comfort.
The tension is abruptly shattered when the sound of someone trying to open my apartment door propels Nathan into action. He grabs my upper arm and roughly pulls me to my feet, shoving me behind him.
The door knob rattles again but does no good. I always lock my door when I get home, it’s habit.
“Get in your bedroom,” Nathan orders, pulling his gun as he moves to the door. He pulls his cell alerting someone on the other end about the potential danger. I hurry to do as I’m told, my heart pounding.
I close the door to my bedroom, leaning my ear against the wood trying to hear what’s happening.
I’m too far away to understand what’s being said but two distinct voices drift across the space. Suddenly realizing who was on the other side of the door I curse and bolt out of my hiding space.
“Is she expecting you?”
“Stop it, Nathan,” I snap, mortified by this confrontation and the fact that I haven’t thought about my boyfriend in hours. I force the front door open wide, allowing Jeff to see me standing next to Nathan.
“Jeff. Hi!” I’m a little out of breath and give him a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek to try and cover the awkwardness.
“Hi. You forgot,” he guessed, his voice sounding slightly chiding.
“Guilty,” I admit. “What are you doing here?”
“We were going to try the new Indian place in Logan Square.”
“You’re right. I’m sorry. It’s been a crazy day.” I move inside, staring pointedly at Nathan to do the same. Jeff follows me into the living room, Nathan standing between us and the door.
“Have anything to do with the suit lurking in your hallway?”
“Come here,” he opens his arms, offering me a reassuring hug and I step into his arms a warm sense of contentment washing over me. Jeff and I have been seeing each other for nearly a year. He’s cute and smart and sweet and reliable. He make me feel valued and comfortable. He’s a really good man.
And I’m an awful person letting past feelings distract me from those facts.
“Tell me?” He offers.
I give him a brief recap of my conversation with the Senator, explaining Nathan was essentially my bodyguard for the foreseeable future. I don’t explain he comes with a small army.
“How much danger do they think you’re in? Is there a reason to think this guy will become violent?” We’ve moved to the couch at this point. Nathan is still standing in my hallway, positioned with his back to the wall able to see both the front door and where Jeff and I are sitting. He’s not watching us though, instead staring straight ahead at my wall.
But apparently he’s listening because he speaks again for the first time at Daniel’s questions. “Senator Abbott feels it’s better to err on the side of caution.”
“Do you want to just stay in tonight? We can have something delivered.”
That’s sweet. And accommodating. I’m lucky to have him.
Great. So, now I have Jeff and Nathan both in my apartment.
See this from Nathan’s perspective here.